UPDATE: Majiedt says co-accused persons not guilty of fraud

03 Jul 2015 16:00pm
WINDHOEK, 03 JUL (NAMPA) – Five people accused of fraud at AfriSam Cement Namibia were on Friday acquitted of all charges after the main suspect, Esmerelda Martina Majiedt, said she committed the crime on her own.
The 50-year-old Majiedt on Friday pleaded guilty to a total of 624 counts of fraud, theft and corruption involving over N.dollars 56 million at AfriSam Cement between 2007 and 2011. She was subsequently found guilty of fraud.
Majiedt entered her pleas of guilty to the charges in terms of the Section 112 (2) of the Criminal Procedure Act (Act 51) of 1977 as amended. She did so in the presence of her defence lawyers, Advocate Louis Botes and lawyer Bradley Basson.
“I personally admit that I committed the fraud in the respect of the above-mentioned charges I have pleaded guilty to earlier. I further admit that as a result of my unlawful and false misrepresentations to AfriSam Namibia, the cement supplying company suffered an actual prejudice in the total amount of N.dollars 56 557 220, 19.
“In conclusion, I wish to reiterate that the other five accused persons were according to my knowledge not a party to the fraudulent actions of mine and could not have been as they did not have any access to the systems of AfriSam Namibia,” she said.
The other accused were the Bezuidenhoudt brothers (Calvin and Gerald Albertus Bezuidenhoudt); Rundu businessman Daniel Batista de Jesus; Majiedt’s sister Louise Izaaks, as well as a former partner of Izaaks, James Wilson.
Majiedt noted that she tendered her pleas of guilt to the charges on her own violation and her own free will.
She further told the court that she has not been forced or influenced by anyone in whatsoever manner to plead guilty to the charges.
“I also wish to make use of this opportunity to extend and express my sincerest apology to AfriSam Namibia and to this court for what I have done in the process alluded to here-in-before and I can assure everyone that I have the utmost regret and remorse. I am sorry,” Majiedt concluded.
She was thus found guilty by presiding High Court Judge Christie Liebenberg upon her guilty pleas to the charges levelled against her.
Her bail of N.dollars 250 000 was also cancelled and forfeited to the State.
Majiedt was on Friday remanded in police custody at the Klein Windhoek Police Station.
Her case was postponed to 02 September 2015 for the submission of evidence in the aggravation and mitigation of sentence.
Meanwhile, the prosecution against the other five accused persons was stopped after Majiedt admitted guilt to the charges.
Their bail monies were refunded to them.
De Jesus was granted bail of N.dollars 1 million, while the other four accused persons were granted bail of N.dollars 100 000 each.
Majiedt and the five persons were arrested in 2011 and 2012, respectively.
She admitted on Friday that she had received various payments in her personal capacity from customers of cement manufacturer AfriSam Cement while she was employed by the company.
Windhoek-based defence lawyers Gilroy Kasper, Gerson Hinda, Gerson Narib and James Diedericks defended the five acquitted persons.